Dachshund – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Are you thinking about getting a popular Dachshund? If so, you should know about the breed's grooming needs and personality first. Read on to discover what you can expect once you get this long-body dog.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
8 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
16 to 32 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Dachshund is one of the easiest breeds to recognize, thanks to their long body and stubby legs.

They are small in size and for decades they have been many favorites. With only 8 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder, these small dogs are often seen in the busiest city areas enjoying the morning stroll.

As a general rule, smaller size dogs tend to live longer, up to 15 years. Due to their compact size and mild temperament, this breed is a perfect choice both for seniors and active families.

Dachshunds come in many colors, including black, red, blue, cream, and fawn. Some may be brown, liver, or chocolate.

Some of them will come in many color patterns, such as bicolor, sable, and brindle.

Some Dachshunds are speckled, spotted, or merle. As an overall view, this breed is gentle, calm, and easy to groom.

For those who don’t like spending hours grooming dogs, this breed would be the best choice.

As a small breed, they have a strong tendency to gain weight easily, which is why treats should be limited.

As an apartment-friendly breed, they are often city-based which makes them easy to adjust to any unusual and strong sounds.

Don’t let their size fool you, because they will protect what’s theirs. That being said, not that Dachshund is a highly territorial breed, with surprisingly strong prey drive, and intense loyalty tendencies.

Read on to learn more on why this breed has been families’ favorite for decades.

Quick Facts

Real name: Dachshund
Origin: Germany
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 16 to 32 pounds
Height: 8 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 1 – 6 puppies
Color: Brown, brindle, red and tan, and many other variations
Coat: Short, wire haired or long

Dachshund History

Don’t let Dachshund’s size trick you into believing that this is a couch potato dog. They may come in a small frame, but they are furious hunters. At least, that was the case in history.

Today, they are mostly full-time pets who enjoy being active and cuddling indoors.

According to AKC, this small size dog first appearance around 600 years ago in Germany. The breed’s long body, vivid spirit, and courageous personality are supported by a clever mind, making this breed a great opponent for foxes, hares, and badgers.

Some authorities claim that this small size dog was used to hunt wild boar, as well. Their full transition to household pet began in the 1800s.

Since they didn’t have to fight badgers to the death, they became smaller. However, their big personality remained untouched.

People loved this breed as a household pet instantly, including some famous names throughout history, such as Queen Victoria. Even today they are massive people lovers, although they love having a few minutes for them – learn here what dogs do when they are home alone.

This small breed made it to the States at the end of the 19th century and in no time became a favorite.

Did you know that Dachshunds are still used to hunt in Europe today?

Fun Facts On Dachshund Dog Breed

  • Their name stands for two German words: dachs (badger), and hund (dog)
  • In Germany they are mostly called dackel, meaning hound
  • In 1972 Olympic Summer Games in Munich, the mascot was Dachshund named Waldi

Dachshund Physical Appearance

Dachshund is one of those dog breeds that you cannot easily mix up for any other. Their body is set low to the ground, their overall body is long, and their legs are short and muscular.

All in all, this is a well-balanced dog with elastic skin and without heavy wrinkling. Their overall expression is alert and their confidence is strong.

The nose is good, the tongue is loud, while the strong build makes them perfect for below-ground work and for beating the bush.

Dachshund is usually shown in two sizes, standard, and miniature. Viewed from the above or the side, the head is long and of gentle shape, while eyes are of medium size, and always almond-shaped.

Eyes always have pleasant expressions and are very dark in color. The ears are set near the top of the head, while the skull is slightly arched.

Lips are tightly stretched, while the nostrils are well open. The neck is long and muscular, fitting the body.

Front legs are strong, deep, and long. Hindquarters are strong and muscled.

Tail is never carried too gaily, while the gait is smooth.

Dachshund comes in three varieties of coat:

Longhaired Dachshund comes in two sizes: standard and miniature.

Disqualifications in dog shows can occur is any of the following traits are spotted in Dachshund on any hair type:

  • Blue eyes
  • Partially blue eyes
  • If a head is covered in white up to 50%
  • Any white covering of the ears, back, and even the front
  • Pure white appearance

Dachshund Personality

Dachshunds are playful dogs with big personalities. True to their hunting roots, these dogs tend to be stubborn from time to time.

They are known for being fast to chase small animals and birds, as soon as they spot them.

Dachshunds are also prone to chasing tennis balls, so keep your Dachshund on a leash whenever you are passing by a sports center.

On the other hand, if you ever run out of ideas for dog toys, a simple tennis ball will do the job.

Since they are highly territorial animals, Dachshunds tend to be aggressive toward strangers and even other dogs.

They may not be big fighters, but they aren’t lacking power when it comes to barking. They will use their powerful bark to notify whenever there is a stranger around.

Dachshunds are known for their strong love for their humans. With that in mind, they will do whatever is in their power to keep them safe and protected.

These small dogs are not fond of unfamiliar people and will do whatever possible to keep themself safe.

As massive human lovers, it may be unusual to hear that Dachshunds aren’t the best choice for families with small children.

Young children and small size dogs usually do not mix well. Still, you should educate children on how to behave around dogs.

They should know the following:

  • Not to disturb dog while eating
  • Not to pull dog’s tail, ears, or anyhow to pooke him
  • Not to touch dog while he is sleeping, eating, playing with his toys, or resting in his crate

Both children and dogs should follow and respect house rules for dogs, including your visitors.

Like any dog, Dachshunds need a proper introduction at a young age. Well-trained Dachshunds and well-behaved children usually get along just nicely.

Children should still be well-aware of the breed’s vulnerable back.

Dachshund Training

Dachshunds are adorable and compact dogs, who tend to be stubborn. They may be prone to housebreak.

Crate training is recommended with this breed. If you need additional support on how to train this small size dog, talk to a professional dog trainer.

Training as a process should start as soon as you bring your Dachshund home.

Training should be consistent, short, fun, and packed with treats. Dachshunds are intelligent dogs, and as such it will be enjoyable to train them as long as you have experience with dog training.

They tend to be mischievous, so arm yourself with a lot of patience. These small dogs were bred for hunting, which means that they may exhibit some behavior related to that.

Digging may be one of the issues with this breed. If you try to hide a treat from them they are most likely to try to sniff it out.

They will see it as prey, and nothing will stop them from getting it. They will treat their toys in the same manner, they will hunt them and keep on killing them until they destroy them entirely.

So, when it comes to toys, always invest in those of higher quality – they will last longer. Since they love to bark and have a strong bark expression, this is something that should be addressed early in the training process.

Dachshunds are intelligent dogs and that should be used to your advantage. Focus on creating reward-based training. These dogs will thrive on positive training methods.

This is something to bear in mind especially when it comes to tracking training.

Yes, these small size dogs are one of the best tracking dog breeds alive and are often used to find something or someone underground.

That being said, you can expect this breed to be excellent when it comes to digging holes.

After all, they have low-set bodies with powerful legs which makes them more than suitable for digging.

Dachshunds are sensitive and will never react to any kind of harsh methods.

Like any other dog breed, they shouldn’t be exposed to any kind of negative or harsh training methods.

Have enough knowledge on dog training, have the best treats on hand, have enough toys, and keep fun – short – consistent – training sessions. This is how you will create a well-behaved canine citizen.

Dachshund Exercise

A small size dog means no additional exercise, right? Well, no.

If you think that getting a small size dog will save you time in terms of grooming and exercise, you need to rethink your decision on owning a Dachshund.

This small dog will require more exercise than a run around the house and a regular walk around the block.

To keep them fit and mentally stimulated, they will need more activity than regular exercise.

Additional exercise will keep their muscles strong, joins active, and will make their back overall strong and protected.

Good to know: To keep your Dachshund healthy, provide regular swimming sessions, as they are great swimmers.

Two walks per day are minimum for any dog, although three would be perfect. Never let them run up and down the stairs.

Never let them jump on or off furniture. This is the best approach when it comes to keeping them safe and injuries-free.

They are social and will demand to spend every minute with you.

Dachshund Grooming

Dachshunds aren’t difficult to maintain, but they won’t make it too easy.

Did you know that Dachshunds like to roll in things that are sticky, smelly, and overall a real mess? Well, they do, and this is something that you should be well aware of.

They need baths only when they get stuck into something. When you bathe them, make sure that you are using only dog-friendly shampoo that is safe for their skin and coat.

They shed moderately, so you will have to vacuum them regularly. Expect more intense shedding during the shedding seasons, in spring and autumn.

Regular grooming, once a week, should be enough to keep loose hair and debris away. Dachshunds are in general dogs who don’t smell much and this helps them stay that way.

Make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand, to make the brushing process easier and faster.

If you have a wire Dachshund, you will need a different kind of grooming. You might learn what stripping is and how to perform it.

You can always hire a professional dog groomer to perform this procedure and teach you first-handed how to perform it.

You will also want to trim their eyebrows to keep them looking fresh and neat.

Keep your Dachshund’s ears clean and gums checked weekly. For ear cleaning use only a solution recommended by your veterinarian.

Learn how to clean a dog’s ears, when you should grind his nails, and how to brush his teeth if a veterinarian recommends it.

Dachshund Health

Dachshunds are considered to be healthy dogs, especially if you’re dealing with responsible breeders when buying a dog.

If you are adopting, check your local shelter first – you will be surprised to learn how many purebred dogs end up without families.

In both cases, you should be presented with medical documentation on the dog.

If a breeder doesn’t let you meet the bitch, show you the facilities, and present you with medical documentation on the dog, you are probably standing inside a puppy mill.

This should be a good moment to walk away, without feeling bad for it. A responsible breeder will always be honest on any issues that a dog might have.

It’s also important to bear in mind that getting a healthy dog doesn’t mean that he won’t develop any difficulties during his life.

Some of the health-related issues that you may expect in this breed include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Eye disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Spinal issues
  • Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD)
  • Cherry eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cushings Disease
  • Deafness

The Bottom Line

Dachshunds are curious and charming dogs similar to terriers in demand. They may be small in size, but they do have a high energy drive.

Dachshunds will demand long walks and extra exercise moments. This is the best way to keep them happy, fit, and engaged.

Dachshund is for you if you want a dog who is a bit stubborn, will challenge you, and is funny.

This breed is highly loyal to his family members and will bark continually to protect them, even if there is no real danger for anyone.

If you don’t mind having a dog who lives a long life and you don’t mind having that commitment, then this breed just may be right for you.

Popular Dachshund Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: